A. Lee Martinez has never taken his plot line too seriously. The result is a book that gets a kick out of being unabashedly cliché and ends up surprisingly original. A perfect example: The Automatic Detective, staring Mack Megaton, a one of a kind robot designed by an evil genius to lead a robotic uprising. But thanks to the development of free will within his programming, Mack has elected a more staid existence as a cab driver. His goal is keeping his head down and working towards citizenship in the city of Empire, until he interrupts a scuffle in his neighbor's apartment. An eight-legged mutant is threatening the family next door. Mack expels the goon but finds the Bleakers gone later that night. Only a cryptic note that reads ‘find us' is left behind on the back of little April's drawing. Mack knows he is the only ‘Bot' to find them. His search takes him all around Empire, a 22nd century city with a 1930's vibe complete with jazz joints, dames, and a fedora for the impromptu detective. Mack mixes it up with everyone, the police, mutants, a giant intelligent gorilla, robots and aliens. But in the end, the real story is about free will and what it means to be something more than a computer program. A great book for Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams fans.
Recommended by Megan Willan